Monday, August 31, 2009

I like big pots

Before I left for Penland I was taking a workshop with Susan Filley and working up to centering 10 lbs. of clay. When I got to Penland we had the first two days to throw and get some stuff made for the Raku firings. I started centering 5 lbs. then adding 5 lbs. on that, then with 8 lbs. and with Steven's help I worked up to 10 lbs. at once. I was able to get a pretty tall cylinder and a good size vase, but the clay was sooooo wet and it rained every day at some point. I could not keep anything from collapsing without using a torch and even then it wasn't great. I didn't keep anything I made, I just kept re wedging the clay and taking advantage of 24/7 uninterrupted studio time to practice throwing. I gained a lot of strength in my arms and went to yoga every morning and gained more strength in my body. It's amazing how quickly my skills improved and how strong my mind and body feel right now. I'm still trying to sort out all of the info from the workshop. I sat down to blog about it, but don't even know where to start, so this is the beginning. I'll try and see what I can come up with. Meanwhile just enjoy the slideshow!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Penland Slideshow

Back from Penland

I drove back from Penland yesterday and got home just in time to see Wesley's band play at Shakori Hills for a benefit concert. They have some new music that I haven't heard and it was awesome. What a homecoming!! I have lots of pictures and lots of great info from my week at Penland, I just need to absorb it and I will try and post a little each day next week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'll be at Penland all week with Steven Forbes deSoule, so I'll see ya'll when I get back. Have a good week, I decided to leave the computer here and have a technology free week.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thanks Catherine!

I'm just home from Claymakers and the opening of Drawn to Clay. Many of you had work in this show and many of you sold work tonight! I wish you all lived closer so that you could have been there and seen how many people love your work and were asking about each of you. Samantha and Bruce at Bulldog Pottery must have done a great job getting the word out because they had a lot of people coming in asking if they were there and lots of interest in their pottery. I know that I sold one of the boxes and I can't remember what else sold. We had people come in that had been in Seagrove shopping all day and were such fans of potters. It just made me so proud for each and every one of you to hear the comments about your work and I can tell you that there was not one piece in this show that was not appreciated and admired! The other thing I would like you to know is how hard Catherine worked to represent you tonight, she literally lost her voice by the end of the evening and talked about all of the work as if it were her own. Ronan was there as well, explaining the process Gillian Parke goes through to make her wonderful pieces and introducing Micheal Kline to some folks who did not know his work, explaining Michael's techniques, and sharing information about all of the potters in the show. All of Jen Mecca's pillow tiles sold, and only two of Susan Feagin's pieces are left, and on and on. It was a wonderful evening and so many people left with great smiles on their faces and lots of pots have happy new homes. (There was only one disappointed lady, she came in looking for Alex Matisse's work and so I sent her on to Mark Hewitt's. )I hope all of you can get to know Catherine if you don't already and maybe thank her for giving us this great new gallery to showcase all of the talent we have around here. She has made so many great changes in her short time as the new owner of Claymakers and it is such a great thing to be a part of!!
This is Catherine talking to a gallery visitor

and Ronan talking to some of his fans! Congratulations everyone, there are some fine pottery lovers out there! I wish I had better photos for you but there was barely time for me to snap these between ringing up sales at the register.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Words to lvie by

I hope Barbara Chadwick Bland doesn't mind, but I am posting some words from her blog today about her father. I love this tribute and could only hope to have such wonderful things said about me at the end of my life. Something to strive for I think.............
He had a great depth of character, respected others, was never needy, led by example, worked hard, loved his country and was impeccably honest. He was frugal with himself and generous to others. He knew right from wrong without needing a law or someone to tell him and was a wonderful listener who genuinely appreciated other people's talents and skills. His broad, easy smile lit up a room when he entered and his peaceful spirit welcomed people into his world. When asked to give advice, he had a unique quality that allowed him to do so without ever passing judgment.
Barbara, you were very blessed!!

A Few More

Here are a few more shots from the show at Claymakers. The planter above is by Laura Korch. She has some other fun things in the show, but my shots were out of focus, sorry. In fact if you don't see your work here it's because I can't focus half the time, it's nothing personal! I did shoot everything in the show. I'll try and get some pics of the reception Friday for all of you that can't make it. I'll be working at the register wrapping all of your wonderful work that is going to have new homes very soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things

Here are a few images I shot today at Claymakers. Ronan finished unpacking everything and it is all sooooo wonderful!! I don't have pictures of everything, but these are the shots that were well lit and in focus:) Above and below, work by Ronan Peterson.

Amy Sanders
Jennifer Mecca wrote a little note on the bottom of this bowl about thinking of summer camp in July, when she made the piece. I really want this bowl!! I remember her blogging about that.
Michael Kline, Bulldog Pottery in the background. My photos of Bulldog Pottery's pieces did not do them justice so I left them out. You have to see their work in person to appreciate how fabulous it is. Especially the wall pieces. Glaze genius!
Amy again, I remember when I lived in Charlotte seeing these on the bisque shelves at Clayworks and loving them. They have a very timeless quality.
Gillian Clarke, there are more great pieces by Gillian but my photos had no depth of field and portions were out of focus. Not fair to the pieces to show a bad photo! Especially with her red colors, unreal!
I also want this dish by Susan Feagin. If I were the kind of person to rip off other potters, this is the dish I would totally rip off! It is the coolest thing. Maybe I can just be influenced somehow by it.
Shoko Taruyama, exquisite...........
There is lots, lots more, come to the reception and support these amazing potters this week!!!!You can check out the info at Claymakers website, there is a link on my sidebar.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Crazy Monday

Well, my day started out the very best. Today was my day to work at Claymakers and Ronan Peterson was there unpacking all of the pots for the upcoming show. Several of you have postcards up on your blog for this show, but I have to tell you, it doesn't even scratch the surface of the magnificent pottery I saw today. I was feeling pretty special after good sales this weekend and then got the big smack down when I started helping unpack the boxes. Jennifer Mecca, your work almost looks edible it is so transparent and luscious! And the pieces from Bulldog Pottery, no way their photography could ever capture the depth of their pots. And there is a big plate from Michael Kline that is the big momma to the little one I have from him, and there is a dish I have to have from Susan Feagin, and it just goes on and on...... so many beautiful things, these are just the ones I saw coming out of the boxes before I had to leave. I'm leaving out a lot of names, but I'll try and take some photos of the set up tomorrow and post more.
So then the day went downhill. On the way home I saw a bunch of trays and buckets behind Whole Foods that are perfect for glazes, chemicals, and necessary items for a pottery studio, and I am a world class dumpster diver, so I tossed them in the car. And then the odors came. By the time I got home I thought I was going to vomit fiercely! No wonder, checked the labels on the bins, cod fillets and frozen shrimp. What a smell these plastics developed after sitting out in 90 degree weather in a dumpster. So my car is airing out and I have been scrubbing stinky buckets trying hard to convince myself that I am doing a good thing to reuse instead of running out to that nasty Walmart and buying brand new, nice smelling plastic!
And then, the day went back up to a grand day, I am invited to be an artist at the Duke Homestead Arts Festival, sponsored by the NC Arts Council and John Dee Holeman is going to be playing there! Gerry photographed him long ago when he was doing a story on the Musicmaker Relief Foundation. He is just so great. Here is the blurb they sent me.

Tobacco Harvest and Hornworm Arts Festival

Tobacco Harvest and Hornworm Arts Festival

Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Duke Homestead
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Put on your bib overalls and head to Duke Homestead for the annual Tobacco Harvest and Hornworm Arts Festival on Saturday, Sept. 12. The day starts with demonstrations of traditional tobacco harvesting, curing, and stringing down at the barn with Little River Cloggers performing on stage. Enter the hornworm race or the MoonPie eating contest or just pick up some produce from the Farmer's Market area. Save some room for homemade ice cream. In the afternoon relax to Piedmont blues played by legendary Durham guitarist and singer John Dee Holeman, hear the sounds of the only tobacco auction left in the Bull City, and browse through artists' wares including jewelry, pottery and acrylic paintings in the historic area. Bring your instrument for the bluegrass jam session at 3 p.m.! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thanks everyone

Thanks to everyone who came out to Saxapahaw this weekend and bought pots! I had a great day yesterday, sold lots of pottery and have four new friends that are just adorable. They all bought pendants from me and brought other friends as well. Are these not the cutest kids ever!? See everyone out there next Saturday. My friend Susan Wells will be there playing with her band the Red Rover.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy 40th Anniversary Woodstock!

We watched all of the Woodstock footage that was on TV last night and my poor child is distraught that her generation is doing nothing but texting and using Twitter. I have to say I agree with her. Get up and do something you guys!!! My other thought is that Carlos Santana has to be the coolest person walking on the face of the Earth! I love the set that Santana did at Woodstock, has to be my favorite. We saw Santana in Charlotte when I was about 4 months pregnant with Wesley, Bob Dylan opened for them. It was amazing!!!! Happy Woodstock weekend everyone. Were any of you there?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random thoughts

I really like this photo. Gerry shot this when we were down at my mom's house. Makes me want to read Johnathon Livingston Seagull again, I loved that book. I'm starting to get into the summer is over, fall is coming mode. We went shopping for school supplies yesterday. I love doing that. And a storm is brewing out in the ocean, I also love hurricane season for some odd reason. (I know, you don't have to say anything, but I do love a good storm). I'm sitting here this morning collecting my to do list for the day. There is so much I want to do and can't quite get it sorted in my head. First, I am getting the raku down exactly where I want it, I have the glazes I want, I have the pots I want to make for those glazes, done. Except that I will come back from Penland with a whole new wish list, I'm sure. Second, I have a bag of Zella for ^10 that I am making these big bowls with. So, what to do about the glazing? I still haven't settled on a glaze I like that is consistent and user friendly. I also have several glazes that I want to try so I need to do some mixing and testing. For cone 10 I think I would like big bowls, mugs, and teapots. Those are the things I enjoy making the most. And last, I have a whole bunch of earthenware that I need to do something with and I have color in my head for that. But that means mixing up a bunch of slip and doing more tests with underglazes.I would also like big bowls and flower pots in earthenware and maybe cups of some sort. So, do I really want to have this many things going on? I am leaning towards leaving cone 10 for a bit and see if the Raku/Earthenware combo works best together. I'm just thinking about a table full of wares that make sense, instead of a table that looks like the potter needs to take Lithium or something. Do other people have this problem? How do you settle on just one thing and do it well, when there are so many things to love out there! I just need to figure out what works for me, but I'm not quite there yet, sigh......................So, Here is a nice poem for the day, have a good one!

Echoes fade and memories die:
Autumn frosts have slain July.

Still she haunts me, phantomwise
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes.

Children yet, the tale to hear,
Eager eye and willing ear,
Lovingly shall nestle near.

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream --
Lingering in the golden gleam --
Life what is it but a dream?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Bowls seems to be a theme today. Paul Jessop, Joy Tanner and Patricia Griffin all have bowl posts this morning, and now here is mine. I'm taking a workshop with Susan Filley at Claymakers to make bigger pots. Yesterday Susan threw a 10 lb bowl and a 15 lb bowl demo. Susan's throwing skills are awesome and every time I take a class with her, my skills improve greatly. I start out being very confused and have to discard some bad habits, but after a while with Susan in my head, I get better pots.

Trish, in the green shirt, was at John Britt's kiln building workshop with me. The bricks in that kiln are all straight thanks to Trish's patient tapping! I came home and tried to absorb the three hour class and threw a bowl. Not quite as big as the 15 lb. bowl above. Mine started out being 10 lb. but after struggling to center that much clay I ended up with an 8 lb. bowl. Still, not bad, best bowl I have thrown in a long time. Now, if it will just survive my trimming. I do know one thing, I LIKE throwing big bowls!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I finally got around to building a photo box ala Joy Tanner and it got Gerry's approval. Here is a practice shot he made for me last night. I think it's going to work out for me just fine. Fun day at the Farmer's Market yesterday. Lots of kind words, sold the most I have sold there, saw some people that were at my booth last week that came back and bought this week. Not making a lot of money but it's fun and a pleasant way to spend a Saturday evening. I'm basically spending money I make there on veggies and ice cream! My booth neighbor was kind enough to give me a bag of peppers, corn, squash and tomatoes and we had quite a southern lunch today, complete with homemade biscuits. He suggested frying the banana peppers with squash which I have never done and they were amazing. Dredged in cornmeal and buttermilk then fried in Crisco. Not so heart healthy but we don't eat like that every day. It was really good though! Everyone have a happy week. I may take Wes to visit grandparents this week. I have a lot of Raku stocked up now and need a little travel break.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

More shots from Friday

Here are some more shots Wesley took yesterday.

Friday, August 7, 2009

8 to 5 cont'd

This was my day, how was yours! Wes took some photos today of her mom at her day job.
I'll get some finished pots up soon.